To push for ‘one nation, one election’, BJP to hold 25 webinars over next few weeks
To build consensus for simultaneous elections in the country, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will organise 25 webinars over the coming weeks on the merits of one nation, one election, people aware of the details said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pushed for conducting simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies over the last few years on the ground that it does away with the obstruction in carrying out development work that is hampered by the model code of conduct, imposed due to frequent elections. To allow a level playing field, during the implementation of the MCC, incumbent governments are forbidden from making new announcements of schemes and policies. The MCC, however, does not prohibit the completion of ongoing work.
According to a senior BJP leader, the webinars that are aimed at creating awareness about the benefits of simultaneous elections will be addressed by senior party leaders, and will be attended by academics and legal experts.
Since coming to power in 2014, PM Modi has advocated simultaneous elections. Recently, while addressing the concluding session of the 80th All India Presiding Officers Conference, the PM pitched for one nation, one election, pointing out it is the need of the hour as elections are being held every few months, impacting development work.
“Elections are held at different places every few months and the impact it has on development work is known to all. Therefore, it is a must to have deep study and deliberation on ‘one nation, one election’,” Modi had said.
In 2016, the government think tank, Niti Aayog in a discussion paper, ‘Analysis of Simultaneous Elections: The What, Why and How’, also lent support to the idea of simultaneous elections, stating that frequent polls change the focus of policy making because “short-sighted populist” and “politically safe” measures are accorded higher priority over difficult structural reforms.
Instead of holding elections in two to five states every year, the report proposed elections in two cycles with an interregnum of 30 months: 14 states to go to polls along with that of the Lok Sabha in one phase and the remaining states in the next cycle two-and-a-half years later.